Difficult Lesson Learned--Adhesives & Cakeboards!

Decorating By Amberwaves Updated 20 Jun 2011 , 6:26am by sweettreat101

Amberwaves Posted 23 May 2011 , 2:07am
post #1 of 12

The wedding cake I made last weekend had to travel by vehicle for quite a ways, so I used an adhesive that was a lot stronger than I would normally use to adhere the foam core to a piece of plywood. Each tier was sitting on 2 cardboard rounds that were taped together.

The cake arrived in perfect shape and I thought everything was great. My bride called me the next day and said the bottom tier (12") had an off taste to it at the reception. She described it as a solvent type taste and said everyone that had cake thought the other tiers tasted great, it was just the bottom tier that everyone was complaining about.

She had saved a piece for me to try, but since it was so far away I declined. I knew right away that it had to be the different adhesive I had used--the fumes had migrated up through the 1/2" foam core and 2 cardboard rounds. The cake sitting there was like a big sponge, absorbing odors and tastes.

I offered to refund the 12" that had the off taste and thankfully she was O.K. with that even though it definitely put a damper on her whole reception. Maybe somebody else can learn from my mistake!

11 replies
specialtycakecreations Posted 23 May 2011 , 6:20am
post #2 of 12

I am so sorry this happened to you. But thank you for sharing with us so we can learn from it.

Would you mind telling what kind of adhesive you used though so we can know what to avoid?

BlakesCakes Posted 23 May 2011 , 7:33pm
post #3 of 12

Welll....I'm going to say that I seriously doubt that anything could "penetrate" a 1/2 inch layer of foamcore AND 2 layers of cardboard.

Foamcore is just that, 2 layers of paper with a 1/2 inch of solid polystyrene sandwiched in between. It's not an "open cell" foam, so there are no holes or channels for "fumes" to go up. It's, essentially, a 1/2 inch of saran wrap, compacted.

Now, if the adhesive you used DISSOLVES paper & polystyrene foam.....maybe.

Some very strong adhesives are recommended for use with "non-pourus" surfaces, only--like glass--and shouldn't be used around food. Did it have a strong smell to begin with?

I don't use plywood boards, but when I stick foamcore to foamcore, I use heavy duty scrapbooking glue dots. No odor and works like a charm.


MamaDear Posted 23 May 2011 , 7:58pm
post #4 of 12

I use Duck Brand double sided weatherstripping tape to stick foamcore to foamcore. Its about $3 a roll but it works very well as you put the tape down and then peel off the backing and stick the other foam board to the first one. I use it to cover cake boards as well. You can buy it separately but I rountinely look for those kits after the cold season is over that has the clear film and the tape with them because they usually mark them way down and I use the film for making gift baskets.

I have made 3 foam board thick boards and then placed them on an oversized cutting board until I get to the wedding. Then I slide the foamboard part onto the table. After all the cake is gone, the foamboard usually doesn't have to support nearly as much so you can still leave the venue with it. I don't like the plywood option since it isnt exactly cheap and it has so many chemicals in it to begin with (not really meant for food).

Another alternative I have come up with heavy cakes is to use one of those half inch thick white cutting boards from Wal-Mart. They are usually only about $12 or so and can support lots and lots of cake. They are already white so they can be left plain but could also have material bunched around them or flowers or anything the bride desires. I have never done it but I guess they could be fondant covered as well.

Coral3 Posted 26 May 2011 , 6:06am
post #5 of 12

I can see this happening very easily to a cake...I mean, we all know you don't put cake, butter, or cream etc (unless VERY well sealed) in the fridge with your leftover curry because the cream/butter/cake will absorb the odour, so I guess it's very understandable that if you put cake in close proximity to a strong-smelling adhesive it will get tainted all too easily. Sorry this happened to your cake though.

kakeladi Posted 30 May 2011 , 2:36am
post #6 of 12

I agree w/Rae......I cannot buy that the tape would cause the problem.
I always used plain, old, Elmer's White glue. It works just fine and is non-toxic should any get near the cake. I also *always* covered my boards w/foil or freezer paper - never sit a cake directly on a cake board.

WykdGud Posted 30 May 2011 , 3:15am
post #7 of 12

I believe it. But then I assumed that she used a spray adhesive.

sweettooth101 Posted 30 May 2011 , 3:47am
post #8 of 12

Cakes and cookies do absorb smells. When i am baking no one is allowed to use plegde or windolene or any other cleaner anywhere close to my kitchen.
Many years ago my sister was baking a cake and where we lived red stoep polish was being used to polish the porch, that cake tasted like and smelled like polish, it was a lesson learned.

BlakesCakes Posted 30 May 2011 , 3:55am
post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by sweettooth101

Cakes and cookies do absorb smells. When i am baking no one is allowed to use plegde or windolene or any other cleaner anywhere close to my kitchen.
Many years ago my sister was baking a cake and where we lived red stoep polish was being used to polish the porch, that cake tasted like and smelled like polish, it was a lesson learned.

That's why I asked if the adhesive had a strong smell before it was applied to the board(s).

My rule is pretty basic: If it smells, then it doesn't get anywhere near my cake.


Bluehue Posted 30 May 2011 , 4:56am
post #10 of 12

Oh dear - so sorry to read this happened to you.

I can believe that it happened... my delivery arrived of cardboard rounds and a few foam core board - and they had absorbed the smell of the tape used to wrap the box they were sent in to me.

After airing them for a week i could still smell it - so i tossed the whole lot.
Phoned the company concerned and suggested they use another packing tape.
They said in future they would place them in plastic bags before sending.

The point i tried to make to them was - in open air it might not be smelt - but oncee enclosed the fumes do and can penetrate...

Its a very wise thread that you have posted - and i am sure a good warning to many who may not think that this might or could happen.

Just *off topic*.............altho slightly similar...
A gf brought me some jelly moulds - i was rather hesitant to use them as i wasn't sure where they were made - OR whether the plastic was food grade safe.
I washed them in warm soapy water - rinsed well and then dried...
So i did a test run - and sure enough after i had turned the jellies out on to a plate and let them sit for about 4 minutes i then tasted them -
icon_surprised.gifthumbsdown.gif - i could not only taste the plastic - but smell it also.
Neddless to say - they wre tossed also.

Again - a good thread for many who aren't aware of such contaminations... thumbs_up.gif


Amberwaves Posted 30 May 2011 , 5:53am
post #11 of 12

The adhesive I used was a glue from a gun that is used for attaching plastics and fabrics. Yes, it had a smell, but not real strong, that is why I thought it would be O.K.

It is my fault for being so focused on getting everything to where it wouldn't shift on the airplane that I overlooked what I always preach to my customers--keep the cake away from any smells!

Lesson learned. It was only the bottom half of the 12" tier that tasted bad, but I refunded for the whole tier since it was my fault and for her trouble. I am still amazed at how strong she said the taste was in the cake.

sweettreat101 Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 6:26am
post #12 of 12

Winbeckler uses carpet tape on her cake boards. Luckily nobody got sick.

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